An airgun for survival
by B.B. Pelletier
This post is an answer to two comments received last week:
Will said, "I've been waffling between a Sheridan Blue/Silver streak vs a Benjamin 392 for getting rid of pesky rabbits as my first air rifle. I prefer the .22 over the .20 but web info & price suggest the "Streaks" may have better trigger /accuracy / quality? True?"
Then Turtle added,"...how about a "best" survival gun...
although not a springer shooter (yet) I'd like your oppinion Re: the one "best" multi-pump pneumatic (or would you insist on a springer?) that you'd trust most in a long term survival situation prioritys may not be a super smooth trigger pull, but more like: calibre, bb or pellet, what do think can handle the elements and abuse best, shoot resonably well to secure food, high on the priority list might be the ability to be repaired w/ field tools ect.
What would you want with you if you were stuck in the field for over a year B.B.?"
B.B. Pelletier's number-one, all-time pick as the BEST survival airgun is...
The Sheridan Blue Streak. It has been my top pick for a survival airgun since I acquired my first one in the 1970s. BUT - there a LOT of things YOU need to do if you also pick this gun.
1. ALWAYS store your Blue Streak with one or two pumps of air in it to keep both ends of the valve closed! If you don't do this, you'd better not rely on a multi-pump pneumatic, because the valve cannot take the airborne dirt and dust. An abused gun will fail within 10 years, at best. My Blue Streak is still going strong after 28 years and I know of other Sheridans that have lasted almost 60 years. They were all taken care of in this way, which the factory has always recommended.
2. ALWAYS keep the pump head lubricated with silicone oil. My choice is Crosman Pellgunoil, but any pure silicone oil should do.
3. NEVER over-pump your Blue Streak. Eight pumps is the maximum, I don't care what anyone tells you. A survival gun has to be ready at all times, not be the baddest braggin'-rights airgun in town!
4. Use good pellets. Forget the novelty brands and stick to Crosman Premiers and Beeman Kodiaks.
5. Forget scopes! This is a survival gun! Use the sights that come with the gun or add a Crosman 64 peep sight and let it go at that. Learn to rely on your eyes to shoot. I wear bifocals and am pushing 60, so don't tell me how bad things are without a scope.
Are you surprised?
I didn't pick a springer or a PCP. Why? Isn't the multi-pump more fragile than a springer? Yes, in the hands of a careless owner, a multi-pump can be a fragile airgun. I've just given you five rules to prevent that. If you follow my five rules and don't abuse your gun in other ways, it will outlast you.
Why not a Benjamin .22?
No good reason. And, no, the trigger on today's Blue Streak is no better than the one on the Benjamin. Crosman makes them both and, for gosh sakes, just look at how similar they are! Except for the caliber, they might as well be the same airgun. Now, my Blue Streak from the 1970s does have a better trigger than a rifle made today and that's the gun I'm taking into the wilderness. But if I didn't own it, I would have no qualms about buying a brand new Blue Streak for the same purpose. The Silver Streak looks better, but this is for survival and I like the extra visibility I get with the dark front sight blade.
This is my personal choice. That doesn't make it right; it just means that I feel best with the Blue Streak.